And You Know You Should Be Glad: A True Story of Friendship

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A highly personal and moving true story of friendship and remembrance from the New York Times bestselling author of Duty and Be True to Your School.

Growing up in Bexley, Ohio, Bob Greene and his four best friends — Allen, Chuck, Dan, and Jack — were inseparable. Of the four, Jack was Bob's very best friend, a bond forged from the moment they met on the first day of kindergarten. They grew up together, got in trouble together, learned about life together — and were ultimately ...

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2006 AudioCD New Audio Book Four audio CDs new in the shrink wrap. Brand new. Factory sealed. Publisher remainder mark in the form of a scratch over the bar code. Enjoy this new ... abridged audio CD performance! Read more Show Less

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And You Know You Should Be Glad

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Overview

A highly personal and moving true story of friendship and remembrance from the New York Times bestselling author of Duty and Be True to Your School.

Growing up in Bexley, Ohio, Bob Greene and his four best friends — Allen, Chuck, Dan, and Jack — were inseparable. Of the four, Jack was Bob's very best friend, a bond forged from the moment they met on the first day of kindergarten. They grew up together, got in trouble together, learned about life together — and were ultimately separated by time and distance, as all adults are. But through the years Bob and Jack stayed close, holding on to the friendship that had formed years before.

Then, the fateful call came: Jack was dying. And in this hour of need, as the closest of all friends will do, Bob, Allen, Chuck, and Dan put aside the demands of their own lives, came together, and saw Jack through to the end of his journey.

Tremendously moving, funny, heart-stirring, and honest, And You Know You Should Be Glad is an uplifting exploration of the power of friendship to uphold us, sustain us, and ultimately set us free.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In Be True to Your School, Bob Greene wrote about himself and four high school buddies who were so inseparable that he interlinks them in an acronym ABCDJ (Allen, Bob, Chuck, Dan, Jack.) In this soulful memoir, Greene takes us back to the kindergarten origins of this group bond and jolts us with news of a reunion occasioned by the fatal illness of one of its members. Some readers might be put off by the sentimentality of Greene's subject matter; but doesn't a well-lived life brim with sentiment?
Publishers Weekly
Bestselling author Greene (Duty) has filled a shelf with two dozen books, including his 1993 novel All Summer Long, while appearing as a broadcast journalist (Nightline) and writing for newspapers (the Chicago Tribune) and magazines (Life). Now he looks back on his youth in Bexley, Ohio (pop. 13,000), where he and his four pals grew up together, calling themselves ABCDJ (for Allen, Bob, Chuck, Dan and Jack). Their lives' paths diverged, but they always stayed in contact; in 2004, the news that Jack was terminally ill reunited them. Then and now, the group used jokes "to hide our feelings-to pretend to feel nothing... [which] seemed much better than the alternative." Greene met Jack in kindergarten, and they remained best friends for life. Remembering people and places they shared, the two revisit old haunts, discovering that their beloved Toddle House, where they once went for late-night chocolate pie, is now a Pizza Plus. Greene's repetitive, rambling free associations recall everything from his Halloween costume and old songs to ice cream parlors, state fairs and clothing fads. Unfortunately, the author's dusty attic of lost Americana is cluttered with cliches, nostalgia and overly sentimental yearnings. (May 1) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Prolific writer and journalist Greene (Fraternity: A Journey in Search of Five Presidents) here pens a memoir about the value of friendship, memory, and the desire to live one's life to the fullest in the face of adversity. Greene skillfully weaves the story of his relationship with his friend Jack Roth-whom he first met in kindergarten in Ohio-into a narrative that moves back and forth between the present, when Jack is battling terminal cancer, and the past, particularly concerning Greene and Jack and three other friends with whom they shared childhood, adolescent, and adult experiences. Greene's detailed memories are nostalgic, endearing, and, at times, quotably philosophical. The reader is constantly aware of Greene's strong love and respect for his best friend. Though his admiration occasionally results in the sense that his friend was untouchable in his goodness, Greene's high praise, on the whole, emphasizes the value and rarity of such longstanding friendships. Readers who enjoyed Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking will find Greene's writing to be more wistful and plainspoken but similarly rewarding. Recommended for all public libraries.[See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/06.]-Stacey R. Brownlie, Lititz P.L., PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Journeyman Greene (Once Upon a Town, 2002, etc.) celebrates the life and mourns the death of his oldest friend. Greene, now approaching 60, first met Jack in kindergarten back in Bexley, Ohio. Bob and Jack, together with Allen, Chuck and Dan, comprised the "ABCDJ" troupe that remained kindred spirits, devoted throughout the decades. Greene's tribute to Jack records some of the treasured moments they shared over the years: Commonplace youthful adventures, the little markers of days, attain a significance as Bexley becomes Grovers Corners in Greene's memory, a memory apparently sharpened by advancing years. He writes of Bexley's Audie Murphy Hill and Alum Creek, of Toddle House burgers and Toll House cookies. There was the Ferris wheel on Main Street and Chuck Berry and the Beatles, too. He writes of girls and the discovery of sex; of the catchphrases special only to the ABCDJs; and ultimately of humanity. Jack, for whom "not having a killer instinct was the best thing about him," was Greene's Everyman, not really extraordinary, just good. In this Tuesdays (And All Other Days) with Jack, the author mostly sidesteps the maudlin.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061120718
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/2/2006
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged, 4 CDs, 5 Hours
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Award-winning journalist Bob Greene is the author of six New York Times bestsellers and a frequent contributor to the New York Times Op-Ed page.

Award-winning journalist Bob Greene is the author of six New York Times bestsellers and a frequent contributor to the New York Times Op-Ed page.

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Read an Excerpt

And You Know You Should Be Glad


By Bob Greene

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Bob Greene
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0061126853

Chapter One

We walked slowly to audie murphy Hill.

It's at the corner of Ardmore and Elm -- the north edge of the small front lawn at 228 South Ardmore. He -- Jack -- used to live in that house, when we first became best friends. We were five then; we were fifty-seven now, standing next to the lawn, next to Audie Murphy Hill.

"It seemed so steep," I said to him.

"Well, we were little," he said.

This was toward the end -- there would not be many more of these walks for us, the months leading up to today had taken their toll -- but every time I came back home to see him, we made the walk. He wanted to.

The slope hardly rises at all -- it's not really a hill, at least in the eyes of grown men. But in those years when he and I first knew each other -- the years just after World War II, the years during which the fathers of the families in the town had come home from Europe and the Pacific, had bought houses on streets like this one, had started to settle back into life during peacetime -- it had felt to us like something out of Italy or North Africa. We would charge up that slope -- up that placid piece of grass on that safe Ohio street in a town where only 13,000 people lived -- and, sticks in hand, sticks standing in for rifles, we wouldpretend that we were Audie Murphy. The most decorated combat soldier of the Second World War.

"Maybe the new owners of the house leveled off the lawn," I said to him now.

"No," he said. "This is how it was. It just felt steeper."

We were still on the sidewalk. I was trying to see what was in his eyes, without him knowing I was looking. Fat chance. He always noticed everything.

"Your dad used to watch us sometimes," my oldest friend -- no longer a boy, no longer sure of anything -- said. He was getting tired. I had told his wife that we wouldn't be long. Their house was less than a mile from his parents' old house -- less than a mile from Audie Murphy Hill.

"I know," I said. "My dad would be picking me up in his car, to take me home for dinner."

Those men home from their war -- what must they have thought? It hadn't even been ten years for them, back then -- ten years earlier they had been fighting in Europe, fighting on the islands of the Pacific, and then they were here, leaning against their Fords and Buicks, waiting while their sons finished playing soldier in the dying sun.

"They were much younger than we are now," I said to Jack.

"They were in their thirties," he said.

I thought I should ask him, so I did:

"You feel like climbing up the hill?"

It wasn't a hill at all. But it was too steep. Now, near the end, just as at the beginning of our lives, at the beginning of our friendship, it was too daunting for him, at least on this day.

"Let's go back," said my oldest friend.

We started to walk -- slowly, because he was unsteady -- toward his waiting wife, toward home.

Continues...


Excerpted from And You Know You Should Be Glad by Bob Greene Copyright © 2006 by Bob Greene. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Tearjerker.

    So, I debated about buying this book for a while and finally I did. I am not sure what I expected, but it turned out to be a bit of a Mitch Albom type book. You know, the kinds of books that make you want to curl up and cry, yet vow to yourself that you are going to live your life a little bit differently? That is this book. Greene writes with such truthfulness and compassion that makes you want to pick up the phone and call your childhood friends - wherever they may be. It's a good book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2010

    It was pretty good

    I really enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down after I started reading it. I wanted to know what happened with the friendship. It definitely is a book to read when you're going through the trials of somebody with cancer. A definite read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 2, 2009

    Touching

    A very touching true story about dying from the view of a close friend. While there are many books like this, this one is written from a man's perspective about one of his childhood male friends. It shows it is allright for men to have feelings and to share them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2008

    Touching but tedious

    touching and tedious, January 18, 2008 No doubt this is a touching book on friendship. Many times heart breaking. But, here also is the power of an author's name to sell books. The gripping story tends to make you overlook the tedious and verbose. Bob has a stunning reputation more worthy of the fast pace a suspense demands.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2006

    Bexley was my home, too

    BHS class of '63. Love the story and remembering the home of my childhood. My Dad took me to the Toddle House after we went out during the night to see Sputnik!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted June 10, 2010

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted September 8, 2010

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    Posted November 25, 2009

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    Posted January 8, 2010

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